The Façade of Being Strong

Some people become experts on putting on a façade.
Like the happiest couple you know,
everyone is so shocked when they get divorced
because they hid all the anger and the pain that was brewing.
Or the girl that seems to have everything going for her
who winds up dead of suicide or drug overdose.
What about the family who seems so perfect,
so well managed, so stable,
yet it’s all fake and robotic, as no love grows there?

And we are encouraged, rewarded even
for these facades of ours,
nobody really want to see what’s underneath after all.
We all want to believe in the super couple,
the devoted superhero dad,
the do-it-all alone without complaint single-mom.
They get looked up to with such admiration,
phrases bestowed on them like “you’re so strong”
Ask them how they do it all on their own,
not realizing they are cracking little by little under the pressure.

We don’t see the hours spent weeping alone,
the crutches they use to cope,
the smile that is pushing back a thousand tears,
the worry that makes their chest constantly feel heavy,
We miss the subtle ways they ask for help,
without really asking for help, because that would appear weak.
We don’t offer help, we’re too wrapped upi n our own imperfect life
to notice others’ imperfections.

People get better and better at putting up facades,
media gets better at putting out these false images of perfection,
we outwardly admit less and less to feelings of failure,
while inwardly feeling more and more like failures,
as our expectations rise to pie-in-the-sky high.
Nobody can admit to needing anything from anyone any more
we must all be so independent, self-sufficient, strong.
Must be stronger and stronger and stronger,
til our own strength and success
becomes our biggest weakness and undoing.

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